Damages in respect of death: Free checklist

When the victim of a personal injury action has died prior to trial, two distinct claims are possible.

A claim can be brought for:

  1. the benefit of the deceased's estate

  2. on behalf of the dependants of the deceased

While these claims can be pursued separately, they are often brought in tandem.

When a claim is brought for the benefit of the deceased's estate, this is founded on a continuation of the cause of action to which the deceased was entitled the instant before they died.

When a claim is brought on behalf of dependants, a fresh cause of action is created, although the claim will only succeed if it can be shown that the deceased would have recovered damages if they were still alive.

This checklist sets out the potential causes of action; claimants; and heads of damage practitioners can consider when dealing with a claim involving a death.

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